And yet I might try Durian
Trapped on some Godforsaken island or alone in a rainforest or high up in the mountains, I would absolutely eat things normally considered distasteful; bugs, leaves, human beings. But I sincerely doubt I’d get a taste for whatever desperation and my stomach conspired to make me eat.
So with that in mind, why on earth are people willingly chowing down on Hakarl? You’d think a dish discovered due to starvation so profound it made a guy dig up a shark he’d buried on the beach four months prior wouldn’t exactly catch on, especially given that it makes the uninitiated gag due to its ammonia content. But then according to locals it’s the aftertaste you’re going for, and it’s more of a Fear Factor-style test of fortitude (to be consumed with a shot of “Black Death” Brennivin, natch) than a daily necessity.
But then you’ve got Casu marzu. A delicacy from Sardinia, Italy, casu marzu is literally “rotten cheese,” though it’s colloquially known as “maggot cheese.” Mainly because there are cheese fly larvae inside it. Scoop out a bit of the viscous goo and you’ll see white, near-translucent worms just chowing away, havin’ a party. I can easily imagine the desperation that forced some poor farmer to eat a cheese loaf so old it was actually leaking, but c’mon, how can people still eat it with gusto now? The government rather sensibly banned sale of the stuff, but it continues to fetch a high price on the black market.
I know, I know, regional delicacies and all, but I still have yet to try chitlins, much less rotting shark or cheese.
-Jim out, wondering what on this list he would actually contemplate eating